Christmas rail travel in Leeds hit by staff shortages, planned closures and industrial action

Travel plans over the festive period are being badly affected in Leeds by a triple threat of industrial action, planned closures and staff shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

By Emma Ryan
Monday, 27th December 2021, 11:45 am

Several rail services are currently experiencing disruption due to staff being ill with Covid-19 as TransPennine Express, ScotRail, Avanti West Coast, Northern Rail, LNER and Greater Anglia have all reported an impact on services caused by a lack of available staff.

Leeds will have a reduced service between December 27 and January 3, including a “very limited” service on January 2.

Despite the closures, National Rail said that 95% of Britain’s rail network will remain open during the festive period.

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Several rail services are currently experiencing disruption due to staff being ill with Covid-19 and Northern Rail is one of them.

It added that the 370 engineering projects it is carrying out over Christmas were planned “months, and in some cases years, in advance”.

In other parts of the country, East Midlands Railway services continue to be affected by industrial action by the RMT union, with an amended service expected to run on January 2; Southern’s Gatwick Airport trains are operating to and from London Bridge instead of London Victoria until January 3; in the west, CrossCountry trains will not call at Bristol Parkway between December 27 and December 31 and some Great Western Railway services to and from Bristol Temple Meads will also be affected.

Meanwhile, in London commuters and travellers to the capital can expect similar travel woes, with the Tube hit by planned closures. The Piccadilly line has been closed between Heathrow Airport and Acton Town until December 30. There is no service on the Jubilee line between Willesden Green and Wembley Park nor on the Metropolitan line between Wembley Park and Aldgate until December 28.

The Metropolitan and City line has been shut completely since December 23 and will not reopen until “early January”, according to Transport for London’s website and the London Overground is shut between Gospel Oak and Stratford until December 29.

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